Best Headset for VALORANT – The Ultimate Guide
‘How did they even know I was there’ is something that can often be heard in gaming rooms across the world, and quite often the answer is really simple: audio. That or cheats, but the point here is that having a good audio setup can absolutely help you hit those shots that look like borderline cheating.
Having a headset (or a pair of headphones) on your dome with a quality soundstage that can accurately display where sounds are coming from will definitely help you decide when to start shooting if an enemy is rounding the corner for example, leading to those ‘they started shooting before I was around the corner!’ moments. Audio can be an extremely valuable source of information, and in a game with so many one shot kill abilities you’re not going to want to stroll around using your speakers.
In order to help you in your search for your next gaming headset (or pair of headphones) we’ve gone over what the pros are using. In this list we’ll give you a brief rundown of the features of each product so you’re completely informed when it’s time to push that ‘add to cart’ button.
What makes a headset good for VALORANT?
First off you’re going to want a headset with a decent sound quality and, most importantly, the ability to accurately represent where sounds are coming from. Beyond that, however, it’s mostly up to personal preference and (this is also very important) comfort. If you’re at all serious about gaming you’re going to be spending multiple hours with the headset on top of your head and you really don’t want to be wearing something that annoys you or is uncomfortable.
On forums and discussion boards you often see people talking about headsets versus headphones paired with an external mic. If you’re asking us both have their merits so there’s no clear winner in that battle. The main advantage of a headset is of course the fact that the mic is attached to the headphones so the whole thing is very portable and compact.
On the other hand, going for a headphones + external mic combo allows you to not only pick the best set of headphones for you but it also allows you to go for a high quality microphone which is something that gaming headsets in the low to mid range often skimp on. You don’t necessarily need a broadcast quality mic if you’re only going to be gaming but if you’re often doing voice calls or you want to do some streaming on the side it’s certainly a solid idea to invest in a high quality mic.
In any case: headsets are used by the majority of VALORANT pros, and that makes sense. It offers them a portable solution to take with them to tournaments and practice houses, and if you’re streaming on the side there’s of course no one stopping you from using a headset and then using an external mic along with it. For most users we’d definitely also recommend a headset: it’s just far more convenient and again: voice quality isn’t that important for gaming.
Quick note: in our lists we sometimes count different iterations of the same product together to prevent situations where products that are practically the same (with some small changes) take up multiple spots in our list.
Most used manufacturer
1. HyperX Cloud Alpha / II
We counted the Cloud II and Cloud Alpha together for this article. HyperX also recently released the Cloud Alpha S but we consider that a different headset as it has a bunch of extra features and is sold at a different price point than these two products.
A legendary headset
It’s a bit odd to call a headset ‘legendary’ but HyperX’s Cloud line of headsets definitely deserves that moniker. The original Cloud quickly made its way up the ranks as being one of the best ‘bang for your buck’ headsets out there and its successor, the Cloud II merrily carried on down that street.
What you get with the Cloud is a headset made out of sturdy materials, comfortable padding, and devoid of any super aggressive ‘gamer looking’ design cues unless you go for a team-branded headset.
The Cloud II is currently the most used Cloud headset, followed by the Alpha. Since the differences between these are small we added both of them together so our list of headsets is a bit more varied. When it comes to choosing between the two we’d definitely recommend the Alpha, however.
Compared to the Cloud II the Alpha has better audio quality and a slightly improved microphone though the Cloud II could be considered more comfortable. Doubly so because it comes with an additional set of velours ear cups, something that the Alpha does not include. Aside from this the differences between both are extremely small, to the point where some (ourselves included) would consider the Alpha a successor to the Cloud II. One more thing to note is that the Alpha does not have virtual surround sound, something that the II does offer.
What you get here is a no-nonsense headset with a reliable design that will last you several rough LAN trips along with a pretty decent mic, very nice sound quality, a reliable sound stage, and a comfortable build. If you’re someone who loves tweaking EQ settings and creating a bunch of custom profiles for every game then this isn’t the product for you though: there’s no software here. All in all this is the perfect headset to go for if you’re looking for a reliable plug and play headset that will last you a long time.
Most used headset
HyperX Cloud Alpha / II
Logitech G Pro X
Sennheiser GAME ZERO
Sennheiser GAME ONE
beyerdynamic DT 990/770 Pro
2. Logitech G Pro X
For the competitive crowd
Logitech’s G Pro line is well known among competitive and pro gamers for its focus on what competitive gamers want. That means no gimmicky RGB strips and integration or outrageous design elements but a focus on performance and nothing more. This G Pro X headset (there are also other G Pro X products) is the successor to the G Pro Gaming Headset and it improves on that in a number of ways.
Its sturdier design is already an improvement but that’s not where it ends. The G Pro X packs BLUE VO!CE mic technology, for instance. This reduces background noise, adds compression, enhances clarity, … In other words: it makes you sound great. You get an extremely large amount of options to tune the way your voice sounds to your teammates and friends, resulting in one of the better sounding mics on a gaming headset on the market right now.
The headset also comes with a set of pre defined EQ profiles which have been made with esports pros so you can get that ideal balance to filter out the important noises and it has DTS HEADPHONE:X 2.0 surround sound. That’s the cherry on top for an already pretty great sounding headset. The memory foam padding will ensure that you can keep the G Pro X on your head for extended gaming sessions too, so you can enjoy everything that this has to offer without hurting your crown.
All in all Logitech has delivered a great headset for gamers with this G Pro X, and it’s a fantastic upgrade on the G Pro Gaming Headset.
3. Sennheiser GAME ZERO
From the audio giants
Sennheiser isn’t a very well known gaming brand because they don’t make mice or mousepads or anything like that. Instead, they focus on what they do best: audio. The company has been around for a long time and as such they know what makes a headset sound great.
The GAME ZERO is a very light gaming headset with an absolutely fantastic sound quality. It’s tweaked for competitive gaming, so that means that you get clear mids and highs without the lower tones drowning everything out. That last part can be a bit of a problem with other gaming headsets: driving up the bass is a quick fix to get that cinematic and bombastic sound but it’s not great for competitive gaming since footsteps, reload sounds, and so on are in the mid and high registers.
Aside from the fantastic sound the GAME ZERO also comes with a great mic. Your voice will sound clear and precise and the noise cancellation is pretty darn good as well.
This is tuned for competitive gaming, and that’s pretty much all you’re going to get out of it though. That’s not to say that you can’t use this headset for media but there is no way to tune the EQ or adjust the settings so what you get out of the box is pretty much it. You can mute the mic and adjust the overall volume but that’s where the customization ends.
If you want a lightweight headset that’s plug and play and made for competitive gamers by a company that’s been doing audio for over half a century this belongs on your list however.
4. Sennheiser GAME ONE
Open back design
Sennheiser initially released two gaming headsets in their aptly named ‘GAME’ line. This GAME ONE is similar to the GAME ZERO but it has a number of differences that make is stand out from its sibling if you’re asking us.
The first major difference lies in the fact that the GAME ONE has an open back construction. This means that there are openings in the earcup shells that allow the sound that comes out of the drivers to flow out of the headphones. This means that sound isn’t ‘trapped’ inside a closed off earcup, allowing for a wider soundstage. That gives you a better and more realistic representation of spatial audio but it does have its tradeoffs. What goes out can come back in, for example, meaning that the openings in the ear cup allow outside noises to get in a lot easier. That’s no problem if you’re gaming in a quiet room but if you’re in noisy environments a lot it’s definitely something to consider.
Aside from that this all plastic GAME ONE has velvet earcup pads (as opposed to the faux leather ones on the GAME ZERO) and a slightly less defined bass when compared to its sibling. In short: if you prefer a nice and wide soundstage and you’re gaming in quiet environments we’d recommend the GAME ONE, otherwise the GAME ZERO is an option.
5. beyerdynamic DT 990/770 Pro
The most popular set of headphones
As we said in the intro going for a pair of headphones along with an external mic is definitely an option, and this beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro pair is one of the most popular options with the pros.
This open-back pair of headphones (check out the 77o Pro if you want a closed back design) is well known in the music and audio scene for its great cost-performance ratio. It’s not made for gaming so you definitely don’t get any software that allows you to tweak the EQ to match specific games or whatever but the fact that it’s an open-backed model (which means that the earcups are not closed off) results in a fantastic sound stage. Couple that with the precise audio that this product delivers and you’ve got something that works great for gaming.
One caveat is that due to the open-back design it’s not going to be good at muting the world around you. Sound will leak in (and out) so if you’re constantly gaming in a noisy environment this isn’t really an option and you should probably consider the DT 770 Pro. Open-back headphones sound a lot more natural and less constrained to most people though so if you’re gaming in a quiet room an open-back pair can definitely be better than closed-back products.
This is a great buy if you’re looking to stream and are going to get an external mic anyway, or if you’re going to pair it with something like a modmic.
Conclusion: the best headset for VALORANT
What you want for a game like VALORANT is a headset (or a pair of headphones) that doesn’t try to be too cinematic. During a hectic firefight you don’t want the sound of a reloading or defusing enemy to be drowned out as those sounds can mean the difference between winning and losing a round. You’ll also want an audio solution that can accurately portray where sounds are coming from in relation to you.
All of the headsets in the article are great options for this game, and which one you choose will depend on your budget, preferences, and even the environment in which you game. Luckily these five headsets all bring something unique to the table so this list should be a great resource for people who are deciding on their next headset. If you have any questions we encourage you to reach out to us on Twitter, Discord, or in the comments of a relevant article.
Thanks for reading!